Here are my '3 Shots' to wrap up the Cavaliers' 125-103 victory over the Raptors. The Cavs take a 2-0 lead north of the border on Friday for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Toronto.
1. Yet another milestone for LeBron James
I'll have more to say on this during 'LeBron James Says,' but considering how hard James says he's been working on his outside shot, I thought it was appropriate that he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for 2nd place on the NBA's all-time playoff scoring list by virtue of a three-point shot.
James finished with 39 points for the game and now has 5,777 career points in the postseason. He trails only Michael Jordan, who leads the pack with 5,987 playoff points. You would have to imagine that record will fall in the next series or two as long as the Cavs keep winning,
2. Where is DeMar DeRozan?
DeMar DeRozan is a terrific player. Against the Wine and Gold in the regular season, the Raptors guard averaged just under 30 points per contest. But he has looked lost against the Cavaliers so far in this series. He scored a very underwhelming 19 points in Game 1, and managed just five points this evening on 2-11 shooting from the field.
With Kyle Lowry now hurting with an ankle injury, DeRozan will need to become much more of a factor if Toronto has any chance of extending this series.
3. The LeBron + 4 bench players lineup looked much better tonight
The Cavaliers have been using a lineup of LeBron James, Kyle Korver, Channing Frye, Deron Williams, and Iman Shumpert to start the second and fourth quarters. If you recall in Game 3 of the Pacers series, the Cavs used this lineup to come back from that 26-point deficit and eventually win the game.
That lineup struggled mightily in Game 1, but I thought they played much better this evening. Of course it helps when James is lights out and Frye is 5-5 from beyond the 3-point line, but the bottom line is that the unit played with more energy and allowed Ty Lue to rest Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, and Tristan Thompson for long periods of action.